The entry into force of the WIPO Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, on 26 February, represents a milestone for GIs, especially for small groups in developing countries.
Here are the main reasons for that:
- The Geneva Act sets a solid international standard of GIs protection;
- It establishes an international and transparent registry for all GIs, which will allow to obtain protection in several jurisdictions through on single application to be filed with WIPO;
- It will allow countries that have not yet finalized bilateral GIs agreements with trade partners to protect their national GIs in foreign jurisdictions;
- It will allow countries that have already finalized bilateral GIs agreements with trade partners, to expand more easily their GIs lists to be protected in third countries;
- In countries where the national authorities do not seek GIs protection in foreign jurisdictions on behalf of national groups, it will allow such groups to seek protection for themselves via the treaty;
- It will encourage countries to modernize their national GIs laws, for instance with respect to the scope of application, which should cover all sectors (agricultural, wines, spirits and non-agricultural GIs) to be in line with the treaty.
For all these reasons, we encourage each oriGIn member to work at the national level to raise awareness as to the need for their country to ratify the WIPO Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. The list of countries that have already joined the treaty is available @ WIPO-Administered Treaties